Nuzzel *Almost* Gets Twitter Lists Right

If you use Twitter to read/learn and stay connected to news, there is no question that that the app called Nuzzel can be tremendously useful.  Nuzzel shows you a feed of the most-shared stories among the people you follow on Twitter and/or on Facebook). In addition to just displaying them, it gives you sorting and discovery options that are quite helpful.


If you use the amazingly-useful “Lists” feature of Twitter (which they seem intent on burying as deeply as possible), Twitter’s utility can magnify by orders of magnitude.  Nuzzel has the ability to use Lists in their feed discovery. This opens up topic-based reading (among many many other opportunities.) However, I learned today while trying to configure my own Nuzzel, that there is a catch.

Nuzzel will not work with Lists you subscribe to. It will only work with Lists you create.  So if I find an interesting list on Twitter (here’s one of my favorites curated by Jay Rosen), I would essentially have to duplicate Jay’s List to use it on Nuzzel.

Can I do that? Sure. But aside from the time it would take, it also feels like a “taking” of someone else’s curation. Not the hugest deal in the world within this context – but seems like an easy fix.

Regardless, Nuzzel is a useful app. Perhaps one day, it will get even more useful!

P.S. Kudos to CEO Jonathan Abrams for quickly responding to a frankly low-level inquiry about this. Speaks well of the company.

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Live Video Comes to Facebook: How Does it Stack up to Periscope?

Facebook Live video is coming to more people.You've seen me use this. It's better than Periscope for two reasons:1….

Posted by Robert Scoble on Thursday, January 28, 2016

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Personalizing your email list is important. Yet you aren’t doing it.

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Digital business transformation is a cultural shift, not a technology problem

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The Facebook Free Ride is Over

It was good while it lasted.

If you are a business/organization/nonprofit/brand who has a presence (a Page) on Facebook, you’ve noticed a curious trend over the past few months. Namely, your posts haven’t been reaching as many of your followers as they used to. In fact, for many of you, your posts are lucky to reach 20% of your followers.


For much of the past few years, Facebook told you “Hey, it’s your fault – you’re not producing engaging content.” All the while, you might have had a sneaking suspicion that what was really happening was that Facebook was algorithmically changing the game so that you’d be forced to pay to “Boost” your post, or purchase ads.

Well the jig is up – Facebook is finally owning up to the fact that they have, in fact, been de-prioritizing your content, and that you now need to pay to reach your followers. is reporting that Facebook sales materials to large partners bluntly say:

 “We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.”

So all of those years you invested in building your Facebook presence are wasted, right?

Not at all. It just means you need to think differently about what Facebook is, and what you can do with it.

From Flipboard, to Medium, as well as many other social networks and online properties – an interesting paradigm shift is underway. In order to monetize activity, they’ve had to develop business models that very closely resemble magazines. Instead of “writers”, their users  are producing/sharing/curating content, and the trick is now to get brands to purchase ads on these networks in order to reach their “subscribers” (aka users/readers).

Sound familiar? Of course it does. In the print media world, buy ads in magazines in order to reach the eyeballs of readers who subscribe or buy the magazine. If Facebook and other online properties are seeing themselves as magazines or newspapers, then our primary question needs to be:

Are my customers using/reading this magazine?

For many brands, the answer is a resounding YES. If we had never heard of Facebook before today and some approached your marketing team and asked them if you’d be interested in purchasing highly-targeted, demographically-selectable, interest-focused, brand-linked advertising online, on a site whose users average more than hour a day, you’d give it serious consideration.

And so the the shift I encourage all brands to make is just that. Think of Facebook as a paid advertising channel – with some unique and highly desirable characteristics.  You still need to produce plenty of engaging and relevant unpaid content in order to keep your most engaged fans connected. But when you have a very specific action/sale/goal you want to pursue that syncs up with Facebook’s users/readers, then take the next step and plan an ad strategy around it.

So the free ride may be over, but it’s not time to get off of the bus quite yet. Now you just have to be a bit more serious and goal-oriented.

Get on it!

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How Search is Changing

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Should Your Business Be On Twitter?

The minute Twitter announced its initial public offering, the media began frothing with myriad angles on the past/present/future of the venerable social network.

It’s a testament to the power of media that during the virtually ever since, I get weekly inquiries from businesses panicking that they are not “on Twitter.” After all, everyone’s talking about Twitter. Hastags are popping up everywhere on TV, and EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT TWITTER.

So should your business be on Twitter?

The easy answer to this is “are your customers on Twitter?

That’s it.

If the answer is yes, then listen, learn, and develop a plan for engagement on Twitter. If the answer is no, then move along. And this advice applies to just about every social network.

There is one important caveat to this advice, however.

The impact of mobile devices, and mobile discovery of information (think of how you search for things on your smartphones) means that search and social network are becoming more and more intertwined. So I’d pay close to attention to anything the major search providers do in terms of linking search with social networks. For instance, while very few non-tech folks are actively using Google Plus as a social network, Google is baking this “identity layer” into all of its products. So if you search for anything on Google, who you are connected to is becoming just as important as what you are searching for. Same with Bing (who partners with Facebook). Apple uses multiple providers, including Yelp and Twitter.

So from a social network perspective, focus on your customer. From a search or discovery perspective, it makes sense to understand how your customers are looking for information, and to make sure you are partnering with those services and tools to ensure your information is available to searchers.

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Breaking Bad: America’s Walter White Problem

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It’s Not You, It’s Me

I once worked with a nonprofit executive director who kept chiding me to get out of the way.

He wasn’t referring to my physical presence – he was referring to my storytelling. Coming from a traditional marketing background, I wanted to talk about ALL OF THE GREAT THINGS our nonprofit was doing. As a former editor and publisher, he knew that the more important, more inspiring stories lay outside our own organization in the people and communities we served.

Of course, he was absolutely correct. It took me a while to understand and internalize this “ego-less” communication. But wow is it powerful.

I was reminded of this recently when reading John Haydon, who writes about nonprofit social media strategy. He wrote a smart post recently titled “The One Simple Facebook Mistake Most Nonprofits Make.” His take? Get your supporters talking about the cause, instead of you talking about the nonprofit.

A few thoughts about organizations “broadcasting” vs. “engaging:”

  1. Broadcasting is seductive. We all want a megaphone. But think about your own communication consumption – do you routinely pay attention to megaphone brands? Probably not. So if your org/biz is doing the same thing, why would you expect others to pay attention?
  2. Getting out of your way and focusing on communicating the stories and causes that live outside yourself applies to any business  – not just nonprofits.
  3. If you can’t communicate your “cause” – no amount of social media or marketing communications will help you. You have to be crystal clear here so that are encouraging and activating the type of engagement that directly contributes to your program/product/service.
  4. If you don’t have a “cause” that inspires you – that matters – your battle is already lost. After all, if you aren’t passionate about what you’re doing, how can you expect others to be? Fix that.

So start with the problem your solving. Be clear with yourself your mission and vision. Be passionate about it. And then start talking about the folks around you – donors/buyers/evangelizers – who share and live your cause.

After all, their stories are more interesting than yours…



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Facebook & Google Are Moving in the Wrong Direction

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